Living in the city versus living in the suburbs of Vancouver

The argument has gone on for as long as people have had the choice. Some prefer the quieter, simpler and generally less crowded suburbs. Others maintain that the cultural influences, entertainment opportunities and ease of access to almost anything makes the city a better place to live. In Vancouver, this debate has its own unique metrics.

Generally speaking, most couples migrate to the suburbs when they plan to have children. One of the more convincing arguments for moving is that your money has more value outside of the city. For example, a four-bedroom house could cost the same as a two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Vancouver. A comparison published by the Vancouver Sun actually found that a 4-bed, 3-bath single-family home costs $728,000 in Burnaby. Compared to a 2-bed 2-bath apartment in the heart of Vancouver for $749,000, the difference in cost and space could make a significant impact on people who are planning to have a family.

At the same time, the money-saving angle may not always be as true as it first seems. For those who still work in the city but live in the suburbs, they must also include the cost of the commute, as well as the additional costs of property taxes.

The price of city living is hardly set in stone. For families, the price of sending just one child to private school, rather than the less reputable public schools, could make up most of the difference, depending on where you send him. Straight.com reports that the cost of sending a kid to private school in Vancouver could range anywhere from $3,000 to $48,000 a year. In the end, it seems that this debate can only end the way it always has: with no winner.